Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Finding the cheapest price sucks.

I’m tired of having to fight over prices.
I don’t want to clip coupons.  I am sick of getting all of those groupons in my inbox each day for laser hair removal (Do they think I’m a Sasquatch or a Kardashian or something?).  I think that it is super gross that when I fly that the person next to me might have paid less (or more) than me for the same exact service (which is pretty crappy, BTW).
I’m tired of it.
I want to find a TV I like and pay for it.  I don’t want to check online to see if I can get it cheaper somewhere else, and then make them match the price.  When I get the renewal bill from Sirius XM Satellite Radio, I want to pay it and get it off my desk, but I know that if I wait, then tell them I want to cancel my service, I’ll get it cheaper.
Life is too short for this crap.  But this crap is nothing.
Today, we had a great meeting for our Community Partners of Dallas’ woman’s auxiliary group (called The Partnership).  About 40 of us met at a beautiful home, had a delicious lunch donated from Kuby’s (pimento cheese – yum!), and heard from 3 angels on earth – caseworkers from Dallas County Child Protective Services.
The caseworkers told us about their jobs and about the children they protect and serve.  About a 7 year old boy who was forced to stand with his hands behind his back and take a punch to the face from his father, over and over again.  About a mother who chose her new sex-offender husband over her 4 teenage daughters.
We heard about heartbreaking cases and about the work that caseworkers do each and every day.
Yes, I’m sick of fighting over prices.  But that is nothing compared to how sick I am of abusive parents.
One of our auxiliary members asked one of the caseworkers what she would change if she had a magic wand to end the abuse.  The caseworker said this:
I wish that I could get into the minds of these parents and change them.
Me too.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Every once in a while I start wondering if it is all worth it.
Life is hard.  Relationships disintegrate.  Misunderstandings between people cause friction and strife.  Gossip and rumors run rampant. 
Truth is the antidote.  Integrity too.  Be honest.  Seek out people who are honest.  If you think someone wronged you, ask them why.  Face it – head on.  You’ll be respected for it.
An abused and neglected child can’t always be honest because a parent is watching and listening.  Because the child is afraid.  Because the last time they finally worked up the courage to tell an adult nothing changed.  Because the people surrounding them aren’t honest.
Help them.  Report suspected child abuse by calling 1-800-252-5400.  They are worth it.
And truth will always win.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Glimpse & other random musings

Gosh, I feel lucky today.
I have a great job and I work with great people and CPD is run by a great and supportive board of trustees.
Sometimes a glimpse of the alternative is all it takes to realize just how lucky you are.
I got a speeding ticket the other day and it really pissed me off.  It was for going 35 in what is normally a 30 (but had a very small sign saying the limit was 20 because it was in a work zone and fines were doubled and yes, I am going to court), and boy I was pissed.  I was pissed because I really am not a speeder and because (of course) everyone gets pissed when they get a ticket.
The ticket was about all I could think about while I sat in the meeting I was headed to when I got the ticket.  Of course I told everyone within earshot about it.  I was still pissed when I arrived back at the office a couple of hours later.  Came in, sat at my desk and started looking at the mail.  In the mail was a newsletter from another non-profit and I started reading the stories about the people they were helping and saw the glimpse.  At least I have the money to pay the ticket if I have to do so (but I better not – I’m going to court with photos). 
But back to the glimpse.
I know that the glimpse comes to me from God.  He helps me see that my life is good and while I may not have had a Valentine date last night, I have hands and eyes and pots and pans and I can whip up a delicious meal for myself and have a swell time alone watching The Biggest Loser and Dance Moms. 
Gosh, I feel lucky today.  And if you need the glimpse anytime, call me.  The stories of the children and families we serve at CPD can break your heart.
P.S.  I sent a donation to the charity that gave me the glimpse after the ticket.  I am a fundraiser, after all.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Back by Popular Demand: Tips on Choosing a Non-Profit Board

This is my most read and requested blog post ever -- Truly, TENS of you have asked me to repeat it (Ha!), so since this week just keeps getting crazier for me, I'm putting it out again.  Thanks for reading -- Paige

The end of the year always gets me thinking about board service.  It is when our board at Community Partners of Dallas turns over and we begin the dance of saying good-bye to wonderful volunteers and hello to new ones.  I absolutely LOVE it!  CPD has the best board members in town.

As you may know, I serve as the President and CEO of Community Partners of Dallas, a medium-sized non-profit agency helping abused and neglected children.  I work with our board members every day to make sure our agency is working to "stop the abuse and start the healing" for kids in Dallas County.  I have also served on many non-profit boards in Dallas County, so here are my quick tips if you are considering board service:

1.  Believe in the mission of the agency.
2.  Make sure that you have the time to serve -- you must attend the board meetings, committee meetings, all the events, etc.
3.  Be ready to support them financially with a personally meaningful gift.
4.  Commit to soliciting funding for the agency from your friends, family members, and colleagues.  If you are not willing to do this, just say no. 
5.  Be willing to participate in leadership if asked.

Prior to joining a board be sure to:

1.  Educate yourself about what is required of board members -- time, talent, treasure requirements.
2.  Take a tour of the agency and meet with the CEO/Executive Director.
3.  Check out the other board members. 
4.  Find out if you like the executive staff.
5.  Make sure that the agency has board insurance.
6.  Look at their most recent tax return and financial documents.

If you are interested in board service, call the agency!  There are many, many agencies that need you. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Nice Lady

Clothes are one of my favorite things.  Now, I’m not crazy like some of my friends who shop every day looking for bargains, reading all the latest Vogue issues, etc., but I do enjoy figuring out what I’m going to wear each day and how I can use things I already have to make an old get-up look new.
I also have a pretty defined style – classic, with touches of fun (self-named style, so don’t tell me differently) – so it is easy for me to shop and my mom and I have fun doing it together.  And goodness knows that with my figure I look better in clothes than without them!
But this week I got an email from one of my co-workers at Community Partners of Dallas that made me think about clothes a little differently. 
Pam is our on-site staff member at our main Rainbow Room at the largest CPS office in Dallas County.  Pam has been with me longer than anyone else here at CPD – almost 7 years.  She’s seen it all and has heard it all.  She is amazing and nothing ever gets by her.  I will also add that she is super-stylish in every way – her clothes are colorful and on-trend always. 
Anyway, Pam sent me this email in response to something I sent to the entire CPD staff about how important it is to work with people who care – and believe me; my co-workers do care about kids, caseworkers, volunteers, and donors – so here it is:
Thanks, Paige.
This reminds me of some children that were removed but later got returned because their aunt decided that she didn't want the responsibility.  I happened to be walking past the lobby and I saw them.  I overheard them tell their aunt this:  “There is the nice lady that gave us clothes.” 
I smiled; we really do make a difference.
So, here are these children, already in a scary place (the CPS office), knowing that something was awry –
  • Why were they at this place again with their aunt?
  • Why were the adults talking in hushed voices?
  • Why did they have the bags and clothes that had been given to them by “the nice lady” with them here?
It is difficult for me to think about their heartbreak once they knew why they were there.
But Pam is right – we do make a difference.  New clothing makes a difference.  Because even when those kids became aware of what was happening, they knew that someone cared. 
Even if their family members were no longer able to do so.